Hi folks,

I'm interested in discussion on the topic of the unreliability of SMS messages sent by Vodafone NZ customers from New Zealand to certain overseas networks.

90% of my clients are from overseas, and several of them happen to be customers of the E-Plus and o2 networks in Germany. Both of these networks are listed by Vodafone as roaming partners. Vodafone's average help desk monkey (a term I feel I can use liberally, firstly because I used to be one many years ago, and secondly because I believe it accurately reflects their role) says that I should be able to successfully send text messages to any network with which Vodafone New Zealand has roaming agreements with and have the reasonable expectation that they will be received in near-real time. However, these messages never arrive, and haven't done so since 2002, when I first had cause to send text messages to those networks. I have sporadically tried in the hope that in the meantime, Vodafone might have gotten it together, but the problem has remained ever since.

The messages send fine, and I am charged for them, but they never arrive at the other end. I *can* and do receive messages from the same numbers. About 2004, I contacted all three networks to try and have the problem resolved, but got the run around from all three, each of which blamed each other, and the ultimate resolution from Vodafone's elite team of letter-writers was that if sending SMS to those numbers didn't seem to work, I should stop sending them.

Now, nearly three years later, Vodafone is still claiming to the general customer base that customers CAN send SMS to E-Plus and o2 customers in Germany -- despite this not working when I tried it again this week. And again, I've been charged for the test messages I sent.

If Vodafone didn't offer the service, it would be a shame, but them's the breaks. Given that they DO offer the service, and have done so continuously for the past several years without it working reliably, should they not either ensure that the service works or stop offering it?

What say you?

Warmest regards